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Pros: Response to "Once you shoot hundreds of hours, what are you going to do with the footage? Put it on your hard drive? Well, what if that HD fails? All your movies are GONE! " - Data DVD and BluRay have a longer shelf life than tape for archiving non-tape systems, important for edited footage too! For large backups, you can put hard drives in a safe too. That will save space in the safe, but cost more.
Cons: I respond to this comment in Other Thoughts: "Besides, HD camcorders give you pictures that not as detailed and clear as the tape drive. The black/white sections will be 'blown' and see no details and all your footage is dark and heavy video-like quality because of the compression."
Other Thoughts: The blown black/white thing is partly true (there's a workaround), but format clarity and compression comments are untrue, no disrespect intended. About blown blacks/whites, I think you mean the diff. between YUV (for DV/HDV), and RGB. RGB (non-DV/HDV) allows the full 0-255 range so it's more detailed than HDV, depending on the codec. YUV is usually 16-235, reserving high/lows for SD TV broadcast rules (but HV20 is actually 16-255 - more whites). RGB played back on SD TV causes problems, and must be converted in editing first. BluRay and HD TVs can use the full 0-255 range, so when editing HDV footage for HD, you can stretch the levels for better contrast. For the compression comment, tape, hard drive, and memory cards use compression, but larger formats can use less compression than HDV. Judge by data rate, not format. For hard drive/memory cams using AVCHD, that's similar compression to HDV, and both squish the image prior to encoding, and stretch on playback. I hope this helps!
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Pros: Agree with Chris' review.
Cons: none for me.
Other Thoughts: If you're only interested in home movies and maybe a bit more, then this is a great camera for you.
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Tough to beat, but know what you need it for.
Pros: Price. Great quality in a small, affordable package. Huge and helpful user base. Wide compatibility with editing software. "Hidden" abilities for the determined. Ability to shoot true 24 fps, progressive scan.* Full HD through the HDMI port is great if you can take advantage of it; it's uncompressed unlike the HDV tape, and has twice the color information.** For anyone looking for ways to improve their image quality, this is a NICE feature. Can attach 35mm lenses for selective focus.*** Tweaky people can gain manual control of shutter, focus, AND aperture, with a little homework and hoop jumping. I'd post a url if it was allowed! Just find the forum that is "the model number" dot com.
Cons: Low light image grainy unless you use the aperture trick. "Hidden" abilities require time, effort, or money to use. *24p recording is both sent to HDMI and saved to tape in a 60i "wrapper" that editing software doesn't convert properly to true 24p, because Canon doesn't put pulldown flags in the data stream. There is 3rd party free and pay software that can sense the pulldown cadence and capture true 24p at much larger file sizes for editing. **1920x1080 full resolution CMOS only available through HDMI port, NOT on tape drive. The HDV format is 1440x1080 by definition. The sensor captures full HD and sends it out the HDMI port unharmed, but the signal to tape is compressed and squished to 1440. On playback the pixels are stretched back to 1920 for proper 16:9 ratio. Some loss of sharpness horizontally, but the lens might not resolve that well anyway. The stock image is good in spite of compression and squishing. ***35mm lens mounts can be expensive but there are DIY solutions.
Other Thoughts: Very good quality for the close to no budget filmmaker, but you'll need editing software, and either time to learn a free way to capture 24p, or money. Using the HDMI port requires either a VERY jacked computer, or a portable dedicated capture device that costs more than the camera. If you don't plan to do lots of effects and green screen stuff, you'll be happy with stock HDV footage. With care, you can still do effects and green screen stock as well, but it's less flexible. If your goal is home movies and no fancy tweaking, you'll love it. If you are tweaky, patient, and budget extra money/time, you could also be in heaven. It's an exciting product, and I feel the buzz is justified.
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“Price. Great quality in a small, affordable package. Huge and helpful user base. Wide compatibility with editing software. ...”— Chris L. 6/13/2008
“Agree with Chris' review.”— no one ya know 6/30/2008